Statement on Human Rights Situation in Vietnam

February 4, 2014 - The Honourable Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, today issued the following statement:

“Canada welcomes progress made by Vietnam in recent years in areas such as economic growth and development. However, concerns remain—notably with regard to the civil, political and human rights situation in Vietnam.

“For some time now, we have witnessed worrying developments regarding respect for human rights in Vietnam. Of particular concern is the recent pattern of arrests and harsh sentencing of Vietnamese citizens for exercising their rights, including their rights to freedom of expression, association and religion, as well as their right to peaceful assembly. Vietnam’s domestic laws, as well as its international obligations, provide for the protection of these rights.

“As an important partner committed to the growth and development of Vietnam, Canada reminds the Government of Vietnam of its legal obligations to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its citizens, including priests, bloggers and journalists. Canada encourages the Government of Vietnam to engage in dialogue with citizens who express views contrary to those of the government and to release individuals who have been imprisoned for exercising their democratic rights.”

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